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Grateful Dead Live at Oakland Auditorium Arena on 1981-12-31

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Grateful Dead Live at Oakland Auditorium Arena on 1981-12-31

Topics Live concert

Acoustic: Me And Bobby McGee*, Bye Bye Love*, Lucifer's Eyes*, Children Of The Eighties*, Banks Of The Ohio* Electric-1: Shakedown Street, Me & My Uncle-> Mexicali Blues, Cold Rain & Snow, CC Rider**, It Must Have Been The Roses*-> Beat It On Down The Line, Big Boss Man**-> Minglewood Blues**, Don't Ease Me In Electric-2: Iko Iko*, Playin' In The Band-> Terrapin Station-> Playin' In The Band-> Drums-> The Other One***-> Not Fade Away***-> Goin' Down The Road Feelin' Bad***-> Morning Dew; Encore aka Electric-3: Dark Star-> Bertha-> Good Lovin', It's All Over Now Baby Blue*

Collection GratefulDead
Band/Artist Grateful Dead
Venue Oakland Auditorium Arena
Location Oakland, CA

Source Soundboard
Lineage SBD > MR > CASS > DAT > CDR > EAC > SHN
Taped by
Transferred by


Acoustic set only (w/ Joan Baez); SBD > MR > CASS > DAT > CDR > EAC > SHN via Chris Warren


Reviewer: jjg4762 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - January 1, 2014
Subject: this is isane
Reviewer: chris phillips - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - March 22, 2013
Subject: Best New Years Regardless
Playing through Bertha was unbelievable. There certainly was not a better show after this one.
Highlights are the Going Down>Dew, Dark Star with two verses.
I wasn't minding the acoustic set, but Baby Blue was annoying....
Reviewer: mrbill - - January 10, 2012
Subject: Joan Baez is vomit-inducing
Yes, Joan Baez is vomit-inducing. Nuff said.
Reviewer: Bob1959 - favoritefavoritefavorite - November 30, 2008
Subject: sing in ?
ok, there is some excelent shows here. the aud recordings are fine with me . but what i don`t understand is (besides leaving comments) what is the point in the sign in , if we can`t download the SBD`s ? what am I missing here ?
Love & peace
Reviewer: Burnt Rich - - February 5, 2008
Subject: RFROX ---just a quick note......
Not sure if you were joking, but in the interest of basic historical accuracy on the review pages, I must bring something to your attention!! Donna and Keith Godchaux were a married couple with a child--NOT brother and sister!! YIKES!! I think "booting" them out of the band is a wee strong and simplistic--the Godchauxs unfortunately eat enough shit on so many of these review pages from all the Donna-haters, to just say they were "booted out" of the band is just another negative barb towards them--arguably, they were a brilliant addition to the Band for many years---look at how many shows Keith and Donna played with Jerry aside from the Dead in the Jerry Garcia Band for the 70's---Jerry obviously had a pretty big place for them in his ears and heart for many, many shows and albums. Both were incredible, professional, human musicians with their respective issues who are most definitely lifetime members playing in the Heart of Gold Band. Thanks.
Reviewer: RFKROX - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - January 21, 2008
Subject: Check out the other soundboard for Sets #2-4

This show is, without a doubt, one of the smoothest and clearest shows I’ve ever heard! If I had of attended this show, I would have been stoned-to-da-bone, jammin’, dancin’, and cruisin’ all night long, man! 5 stars and A+ recording quality, for sure.

I’m rating this show from the 2nd set on. Shakedown Street is off-the-hook to start this set! One of the best versions I’ve ever heard, and 16-1/2 minutes long! For all the hoopla about the 70’s Dead (which is certainly warranted), these early 80’s shows were awesome, especially with Brent Mydland finding his groove. All of these songs are awesome in Sets #2-4. Me and My Uncle, Mexicali Blues, Cold Rain and Snow, and Big Boss Man really put Set #2 in high gear. The third set is absolutely amazing starting with Iko Iko after the countdown to New Year’s, then steamrolling into Playin’ > Terrapin > Playin’ Reprise. This Drums > Space is unique because it has Jerry playing some cool mellow space guitar before storming into The Other One > NFA > GDTRFB, while ending the set with an awesome Dew (maybe one of the best ever?).

And what can you say about Set #4? Dark Star > Bertha > Good Lovin’ is absolutely ridiculous!! Just sic, man!! Even the encore is sweet, with the Boys hooking up with Joan Baez in Dylan’s classic, “It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue.”

I agree with Purple Gel in his review on this show. This just may be the best New Year’s show between 1980-1988. He said he attended all of them, so that’s pretty impressive. Moreover, it certainly makes him a reputable authority to review those shows. Wish I could have said that. However, I do disagree with his assessment about the encore with Baez. I actually enjoy listening to her vocals on that song (unlike listening to Donna wailing away on some of the early-mid 70’s Dead shows). Donna’s best harmonies were clearly during the 1977 peak year before she was booted out of the band with her brother, Keith, after the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum show on 02-17-1979.

I live on the East Coast, so I didn’t get a chance to see any of those New Year’s shows that Purple Gel alluded to. In fact, my first show was at RFK Stadium in D.C. (saw the 6-9 and 6-10-73 shows) and didn’t attend another Dead show until Dylan, Tom Patty, and the Dead played at RFK Stadium on July 6-7, 1986. Man, was it hot as shit that weekend! 100 degrees! I only attended 6 Grateful Dead shows, but have seen the Dead 6 times post-Garcia. 5 of those times were at Red Rocks in Colorado in the summer of 2003 (July 6, 7, 8, 10, 11). Man were those some awesome shows with Joan Osborne! Talk about a Rocky Mountain High!! LOL

Anyway, if you want an awesome show with all these amazing sets, then you should download the soundboard. The energy and sound quality are off-the-hook! Can’t go wrong with a Grateful Dead New Year’s show!

Danny from Northern Virginia outside of Washington, D.C.
East-Coast Deadhead

Reviewer: redeyedjim - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - January 1, 2007
Subject: Believe it or not, this was my first show...
Believe it or not, this was my first show, and needless to say, it set the bar pretty high.

I can't add much to what has already been written, as it is an excellent show and should be a part of everyone's collection. As an attendee, I only wish I had more shows under my belt before attending this one, as I could have appreciated it more. Still, it was a fantastic evening of music and adventure -- this show kicked ass from start to finish, and then Bill Graham fed us breakfast afterwards. A truly unbelievable evening.

I ended up seeing approx. 240 shows between this one and the last Shoreline show I saw in 1995. Looking back on this night 25 years later, this was definitely one of the very best, a true one percenter. Thank you, boys, for a REAL good time :-)
Reviewer: Purple Gel - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - October 14, 2006
Subject: 4 SETS!!!!!, Are you kidding me????
I attended every New years show from '80 to '88 and this was by far the best IMO. Between the incredible song list and the inspired playing from start to finish, this show rates as one of the best ever!!!

First i have to point out that Jerry did indeed break out the Accoustic guitar for Banks Of the Ohio, but by the end of the first verse had traded it in for his electric.
This is the only 4-set show I ever attended, and it was a mind blower. The best time I ever had at a show. As you walked in the Auditorium, there was a floor mural dedicated to Truckin from the year before, when the floor had caved in due to the dancing during Truckin. Graham had a mini volleyball tourney going on before the show inside.
To me this show had everything. a killer song list, just about everything you could want to hear with some very sweet surprises. One of the greatest Shakedowns opening up the 2nd set, a nice Big Boss Man (" I sure Go to barn at night!!)the only distraction of the set was Joan Baez singing overpowering harmony during Roses. The third set is epic. A nice rollicking Aiko, followed by a great Playing >> Terrapin >> Playin sandwich ("Strategy was his strength, not "Didaster"") But the real treats were left for after drums and the 4th set. It was reminiscent , both song list and playing, of a 70-72 jam. The space is long and inspired with Jerry absolutely taking the lead and flows effortlessly into a mean Other One > NFA.> Goin Down the Road, which warmed us up for a truly inspiring Dew that soared through the darkness, and perfectly ended the set, leaving us with anticipation for what might come.
When the boys came out again, I think many were expecting a short extended encore, but, man were we in for a surprise. The whole place erupted as Phil and Jerry broke out the intro to Dark Star. this is a fairly short Star, about 14 min, but quite inspired, with some very sweet leads and interplay with the band, and segueing into a rocking Bertha/Good love. The lowlight of the evening was Baby Blue, nicely played, but with Joan once agin providing overpowering, annoying harmonies.This show to me is the quintessential Dead show, great song selection, great musicianship and 4 sets.
Reviewer: Hraefn - favoritefavoritefavorite - April 20, 2006
Subject: Joan's Role
I was at this show, backstage, as part of Joan's entourage. For those unaware, Joan started dating Mickey Hart about a year and a half prior, and Joan ended up going to quite a few Grateful Dead shows, but was not always invited to sing. Jerry, in particular, was really not into the concept.
Reviewer: cringle - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - March 12, 2006
Subject: go to other source
This one's just 5 Joan Baez songs.

the rest of the show - on the other source - is... epic
Reviewer: seedanrun - favoritefavorite - June 19, 2005
Subject: Is Joan Baez really necessary?
This is possibly the most soulless Bobby McGee ever recorded by anyone, and the rest of the set isn't much better. Children of the 80's? Please...
The sound quality is also pretty marginal. It sounds like a mediocre AUD to me, with a lot of hiss and distortion, along with a general lack of presence. If you've gotta have every song the Dead played, go ahead, but otherwise don't bother.
Reviewer: Cosmic Bob - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - October 20, 2004
Subject: Rest of Joan's Set?
Joan did a couple of other tunes prior to the Dead joining her. Like "The Boxer" and a one or two others. I have a really old cassette of the whole set, but none of the CDs copies I've seen have it.
Reviewer: Augy - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - June 10, 2004
Subject: Contrary to popular opinion ...
I went to all of these and I stole a backstage pass for this one. I'll write that story later.
Contrary to popular opinion, the first set wasn't entirily acoustic. Only Weir played acoustic on a few tunes such as Bobby McGee for example. The same is true for the night before.
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Jonathan Aizen
on 4/26/2004
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